Best RV Battery for 2021 [5 Top Batteries Compared]

Before you begin your RVing adventure, you need to ensure you have a reliable RV battery with you.

Besides making the adventure smooth, it also gives you the confidence of having fun no matter the area you will go camping. In this article we compare 5 best RV batteries as well as going over things that might be causing your RV battery to die.

Table of Contents

How Do I Choose and RV Battery?

Choosing an RV battery is not as easy as heading over to Walmart to choose one. There are essential two types of batteries, a starter battery and a deep-cycle house battery.

Most RV come with at least one battery, a deep cycle battery, whereas motorhomes comes with two; a starter battery that provide amperage that starts the engine and a deep cycle battery for running lights, refrigerators, water pumps, and a few other things in your RV that need power when your RV is not plugged into shorepower.

In deep cycle batteries may power your slide in and out and is a necessity if you happen to be dry camping.

Deep cycle batteries come in 6v and 12v configuration, however the output of a deep cycle battery is always 12v. When using 6v batteries you’ll need to wire two of them in series to get to 12v.

Another characteristics of deep cycle batteries is that they can be recharged more often and can be discharged deeper than a staring battery. This means that a deep-cycle battery can continue to power your RV and function properly at a lower level than the starting battery.

Your RV battery is easily recharged when you are plugged in to shorepower or via solar panels with the right configuration.

Types of Deep Cycle Batteries

There are essential three types of deep-cycle batteries:

  • Conventional Flooded Electrolyte
  • Gel
  • AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat)

Let take a quick look at each.

Conventional Flooded Electrolyte

This is your typical battery type and will be the most familiar. This is also the type that is most often shipped with an RV. you’ll need to check water levels and add distilled water when needed, corrosion often accumulates around the terminal post, so that will need to be cleaned, They offer fairly good capacity at a reasonable cost.

Gel Batteries

Gel batteries use a battery acid that is in the form of a gel. Because of this they are leak-proof. Gel batteries are excellent for marine use but no so much for RV use. The reason being they must be charged at a slower rate and with lower voltage. Overcharging may cause permanent damage.

AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat)

Absorbed Glass Mat or what is often referred to as AGM batteries use a fiber type mat between the plates. The mat is 90% soaked in electrolyte. AGM batteries are more expensive than standard batteries, but they do have some good advantages.

AGM batteries are charged the same as standard lead free batteries, there is no water loss, they won’t leak, and are almost maintenance free, and it’s highly unlikely they will freeze.

What size battery for travel trailer

The size of your battery in amp hours really depends on how much you use your RV battery throughout the day. The higher the Amps Hours (ah) the longer you can use the power depending on how many amps your camper is pulling.

The other rating you want to look at is the Reserve Capacity (RC) this rating tells you for how many minutes can the battery deliver 25 amps of current before falling below the threshold of 10.5 volts.

The higher both of these rating the better your option.

When it comes to choosing the best RV battery a lot of will depends on your usage and your budget. Below are the top 5 batteries we have chosen. There are others you can choose from, but we suggest you stay away from gel type batteries, purchase AGM batteries if you can afford it. We don’t recommend lithium RV batteries due to their extremely high price.

The Best Deep Cycle Battery for RV Use and Off-Grid and Off-Grid Applications

Sale
Our Top Pick for RV Battery...
100aH deep cycle battery designed to offer excellent performance in the most demanding applications. Can effectively be used in off-grid application such as boondocking and for general RV use.

Last update on 2021-07-22 / Paid Affiliate Link / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

WindyNation deep cycle batteries are specially designed to offer off-grid power. They are the perfect choice for RVs since most of the time you will be spending in remote areas where a dependable source of energy comes in handy. The sealed and maintenance-free design is suitable for recreation purposes such as RVing.

The battery also has a non-spillable design that allows it to be used in areas requiring the use of such batteries. If you choose this battery, you will always be on the safe side no matter the location of your adventure.

Despite the number of times the battery gets discharged and recharged it can endure for long making it the best RV battery for people who want to enjoy value for their money.

Specifications

  • 12 Volts, 100aH
  • Weight 66 lbs
  • Size: 13 x 6.8 x 8.7 inches

Optima Deep Cycle RV Battery

Our Runner Up RV Battery...
The Optima Deep Cycle battery is an excellent performer that will endure hundreds of recharges. This battery provides great vibration resistance and enhanced recharge time.

Last update on 2021-07-22 / Paid Affiliate Link / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

At the heart of Optima batteries consists of a series of individual spiral-wound cells made up of two pure lead plates with a lead oxide coating. One is negative, and the other is positive. This unique spiral-cell gives a clean and robust power source and guarantees safety for you and your family. It also helps to maintain the close tolerance required to ensure optimal performance and quality.

Having the Optima battery in your RV translates to more recharges than you would get in other traditional batteries and exceptional running time. If your RV has creature comforts that drain the current battery quickly, you need to replace it with Optima battery to realize the full pleasure of your RV. Besides offering exceptional vibration resistance, it provides efficient power delivery and enhanced recharge time, meaning you have more time for fun and less worrying about your battery.

Duo-purpose battery

The battery is purposely made for both starting and deep cycle for people requiring a sure-starting, strong cranking and a battery without maintenance costs for their RV even when they are in harsh conditions.

When you are traveling in bad weather, many batteries have the challenge of starting a vehicle. However, the Optima batteries are uniquely designed to give optimal starting power to your RV regardless of the weather.

Higher reserve capacity

The high reserve capacity provides a longer shelf-life so you can have the power you need whenever you need it. Since the battery is specially designed to be used in recreational vehicles, the manufacturer has considered every eventuality that can render the battery unusable. Therefore, it is a reliable battery that you can mount in your RV and explore without worrying.

Better resistance

Optima Deep Cycle RV camper battery offers fifteen times more resistance to vibration for durability.

Convenient size

For many RVers, the size of any item on board is a huge concern. Luckily, the battery is built to consume minimal space in your vehicle while offering enough power.

Specifications

  • Voltage: 12V
  • Weight: 43.5 pounds
  • Measurement: 10” x 6 ⅞” x 7 13/16”
  • Reserve Capacity: 120 minutes

Renogy Deep Cycle AGM Battery for RV, and Boondocking

Excellent for Boondocking...
This deep cycle AGM battery offers great performace and excellent discharge rate. Maintenance-free battery with a long shelf life. Improved electrolyte formula ensures stable battery capacity and outstanding discharge performance at low temperatures below 32℉ (0℃)

Last update on 2021-07-22 / Paid Affiliate Link / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Another one of our best RV battery is the Renogy deep cycle battery specially designed for solar energy storage and RVing purposes. These batteries are completely leak-proof, maintenance-free, and spill-proof. If you are in search of a battery that will meet high-quality performance, then look no further. This battery is also very good for boondocking.

It is a reliable battery that you can use for your RVing activity any season of the year. The battery can operate in extreme temperatures ranging from -15 to 50 degrees.

Here are just some of the features of the Renogy Deep Cycle Battery:

Corrosion-resistant

The Renogy deep cycle battery is made with Pb-ca alloy, which has the strength to withstand corrosion. Your battery will, therefore, last longer as opposed to other cells in the market.

Strength against high current discharging

If you have had a battery before, you agree that most of them are destroyed by high current discharging. For Renogy, it is optimized to overcome this challenge and give you long-lasting service.

Things to consider while using Renogy deep cycle battery

  • Always charge the battery with the recommended voltage and ensure it is fully charged.
  • Refrain from over-discharging batteries.
  • The recharge capacity should be 1.1 – 1.5 of the discharge capacity.

Specifications

  • Voltage: 12V
  • Max Discharge Current: 1200A
  • Capacity: 100Ah
  • Float charging voltage: 13.5 – 13.8v
  • Max charging current: 40A

Universal Power Group Sealed Acid Battery

Sale
Affordable Performance...
One of the most affordable batteries on our list. You get very good performance at a very resonable price. Highly rated by buyers, you can't go wrong with this sealed acid battery.

Last update on 2021-07-22 / Paid Affiliate Link / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The UB121000 is a 12V 100 Amp-hour sealed acid battery. Overall it gets very good reviews from buyers. It is a heavy battery weighing 58.9 pounds and measures 12.9 x 7.7 x 10.7 inches.

Some positive reviews indicate this battery can last up to 6 years which pretty good.

The price of this battery is pretty competitive making it one of our top choices for the best RV battery.

Best 12V Lithium RV Battery

Expensive Performance...
The most expensive battery on out list. However if you are looking ofr a top-performing lithium RV battery this one is it. Extended lifespan and battery management system add up to a truly outstanding battery.

Last update on 2021-07-22 / Paid Affiliate Link / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This battery is expensive however it is an extremely safe battery due to the Lithium Iron rather than lead-acid. It has an extended lifespan almost twice the length of traditional lead-acid batteries. Designed for safety- extremely safe Lithium Iron phosphate cells, fully sealed and sturdy waterproof housing helps keep the battery from leaking or corrosion.

  • Extended lifespan- with more than 2000 cycles The service life is more than double that of traditional lead-acid batteries.
  • Battery management system (BMS)- the built-in battery protection system optimizes the Battery performance by automatically balancing the cells and providing multiple protections against over-charging, over-discharging, over-current, short-circuit and over-temperature.
  • Wide range of applications- widely used in RV, marine, and Solar applications.
  • Low self-discharge- the Battery self-discharge below 3% per month, providing optimal longevity and shelf life.

This battery is expensive however it is an extremely safe battery due to the Lithium Iron rather than lead-acid. It has an extended lifespan almost twice the length of traditional lead-acid batteries.

Are lithium batteries the best power source for an RV if I plan to boondock off the grid a lot?

This really depends on what is meant by a lot. A day or two is very different from several weeks. It also depends on your budget. Lithium batteries while lasting longer than typical batteries are expensive. The Renogy Lithium-Iron battery above is well over $1,000.

Sure you may be one of those that needs the amount of power a lithium battery provides for extended periods of time, however weight will become an issue with such a huge battery bank. Personally I would invest in some nice solar panels like these solar panels on Amazon, and use AGM deep cycle batteries.

How long should RV batteries last?

If you are planning to purchase an RV battery, it is imperative to understand the lifespan of batteries and factors affecting their durability. This is crucial to determine whether you are spending a lot of batteries or you are within the right expenditure brackets. Frequent replacing of batteries puts pressure on your budget.

Batteries are essential RV equipment that does not have a specific duration for which they’ll last. This is because there are many factors at play. However, on average, an RV battery should last between 4-5 years.

Not letting your battery lose more than 50% of it charge before recharging will extend the life of the battery.

Does a generator charge an RV battery?

One of the worst experiences is the loss of power due to a dead RV battery. The life of RV battery power is determined by how well you charge the battery. Many batteries are charged by a generator with a 12v connector. The following is a stepwise procedure on how to charge your RV battery using a generator.

  1. Ensure the generator has enough fuel
  2. Turn off your RV’s engine and engage the emergency brake to avoid an accident
  3. Find out where your RV batteries are located
  4. Check the batteries’ condition and look for any signs of corrosion. Proceed to clean the battery terminals
  5. If the electrolyte level is low, top it off with distilled water
  6. Reconnect the cables and while ensuring they are on the right terminals. Use a wrench to fasten them
  7. If there are any connections in your RV such as lights, turn them off and unplug all electric devices
  8. Connect the generator to the RV battery system, so it can start charging.

Why Does My RV Battery Keep Dyiing?

Having a reliable battery in your RV is going to give you peace of mind when you travel. This is especially important if you are camping off-grid also known as RV boondocking. The RV batteries reviewed above are all excellent camper batteries that will serve you well.

If you’ve been an RV owner for a while, chances are you’ve experienced your battery dying at the wrong place at the wrong time. Bonus if it’s given out 2 or more times.

The headache (and costs) of locating a knowledgeable mechanic in the middle of nowhere can take its toll on even the most even-keeled of people and turn that dream trip of yours into a living nightmare.

This is why in this article, we’ll walk you through what’s really causing your RV battery to die- and warning signs to look out for.

Sense the smoke before the fire with this guide, and keep both you and your guests focused on enjoying the ride.

The information presented here applies to batters in travel trailers, 5th wheels and motor homes as well.

Root Causes of RV Battery Failure

Whether you’re riding motorcoach or utilizing a towable rig, there’s a few reasons why you’re having battery troubles :

Your Converter Has Blown A Fuse

Besides the usual suspects of sulfation, overcharging, and irregular maintenance schedules, your RV’s Power Converter could have blown a fuse, directly affecting the charging of your battery.

Do a quick check of your electrical compartment (usually where most of your fuses and circuit breakers are) and check to see if your Converter is on. Should it not be, look for any connections that may be destroyed or have corroded and replace them. 

We strongly suggest that if there is any damage to the Power Converter, take it to a Certified Technician to prevent further damage (do not attempt to ‘DIY’ troubleshoot this).

Your Shore Power Connection Is Terrible

This is given nowhere near as much attention as it should. An RV battery may die due to insufficient shore power! Now you may be wondering what shore power is, and very simply, it’s the juice from the power pedestal that you use at campgrounds, parks, and other RV rest areas. Power to converter troubles, if your Converter is not getting the proper voltage when it’s recharging, this can also affect the battery.

If your AC states 120-volt AC, then you need 120 volts coming in from the electrical source. To double-check this, use a clamp-on meter, like Kaiweets Digital Multimeter TRMS 6000 or a WeePro Vpro 850L Digital Multimeter (you can check both AC & DC voltages on either option)  and attach it to the electrical cable. Any number lower than a 1-3 point drop will be no good for you and cause more damage in the long run- hence battery failure.

Your Battery Has Gone Bad

And speaking of battery failure, your battery could be bad. Your RV runs off of both 12-volt and 120-volt electrical systems- each unique in its own way; however, should something be wrong with your 12-volt DC, the 120 may start overworking. Here are common tell-tale signs that an RV battery is dying:

–        Rapid clicking sounds when starting the engine

–        Constant malfunctions of electrical equipment (like charging outlets, windshield wipers)

–        Your headlights are extremely dim

–        Corrosion is present on the battery

–        The battery fails to charge

Your Battery is Old- Literally

You’ve done your detective work and even replaced a few fuses for good measure, but your RV still won’t run properly. Why! From your inspection, both the Converter and inverter are fine, the electrical charge is coming in as it should be, and all the breakers are intact.

The heck is the issue? Sadly, it might be the battery itself. Yes, I know the life expectancy should be between 3-7 years, and if you’re not mistaken, you just bought this battery a few months ago- but was it a new battery that you purchased?

One quick way to tell is by checking the date on the battery. Once you’ve located the compartment, look for a four- or five-digit date code that should be showing alongside the corners of the battery (not the label sticker).

This code should be a mixture of letters and numbers that read from left to right. The alpha-numeric number is the actual shipping date of when the battery left the factory. Typically, the letter indicates the month, year, and manufacturing plant. So B5 may mean February 2015 with the last letter indicating the plant. If you’re lucky, you may see the ‘DDMMYY’ that saves you the trouble of figuring it out.

Should the date code be relatively new, then seek out a local Technician for further troubleshooting steps; however, if it is not as new as you thought it to be, that can be the problem entirely.

Your Solar Panels May Not Be Powerful Enough

Should you have a model with solar panels installed (or you added them after purchase), make sure they can handle the loads from high-powered appliances. Refrigerators and AC units are well-known power guzzlers- keep this in mind.

Suppose your solar panels cannot handle the amount of energy these appliances utilize- your generators/inverters may be in overdrive! In that case, this is an all-out recipe for disaster, and the panels need replacing immediately.

Your RV Converter Cooling Fans Have Stopped Working

If you were able to check earlier, did you hear a humming sound coming from the Converter (note that some models don’t make noise at all)? When you went to check it out, did you get blasted with a bunch of heat? If you did, it could be an indicator that your cooling fans are either not working correctly or not at all, causing overheating of other key parts.

Inside the case should also be a thermostat sensor. If you can, test to make sure that the power voltage is coming through as it should be (similar to how you check the voltage on the shore power- see above), and if not – hands-off and google the nearest tech.

Self-Discharging

Speaking of overheating, let’s discuss how it affects self-discharging. If you are not familiar, ‘self-discharging occurs when the chemicals inside of a battery naturally begin reacting with each other without any prompting of use.

Because it is happening on its own, there’s not much to be done but to regularly monitor the discharge rates and any sludge buildup (the sticky, gooey substance you may see near the bottom of the battery).

However, should your cooling fans fail and excessive heat accumulates inside for long periods, the ‘discharge rate’ will rise higher than usual and cause significant damage to the battery. We recommend not leaving your RV in boiling temperatures without regular maintenance.

How to Increase The Life of A RV Battery

In addition to doing the routine maintenance on your battery, we strongly suggest constantly monitoring your device’s amp usage by using a RV battery monitor and disconnect any appliances from the power supply that are not currently in use.

Also, while taking advantage of campground electrical stations and other on-the-road rechargers, makes sure that there has not been any damage to the station by utilizing a polarity testing device before use and physically turning all non-essential devices off before connecting your RV. 

If properly taken care of, an RV battery could last you anywhere between 3-5 years. We suggest saving this article as a quick reference point in the future should you encounter any issues with your battery.

RV Batteries Keep Dying Video

Best RV Battery Summary

We hope our article on the Best RV Battery has helped you in learning about and choosing a battery for your camper. Let us know if you have any questions.

Ray Roman is the co-owner/author of Go Travel Trailers. He is the main contributor of content and an avid researcher of travel trailers and the RV lifestyle. He loves fly fishing, vacationing in Red River, NM, and spending time with family and friends.

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